Tuesday, October 23, 2007


News Release
October 23, 2007

Reference: Jamie Mapa, NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, email: nychrp@yahoo.com


The NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, a committee of human rights advocates, has absolutely no faith in the well-spun tale Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita will be telling the United Nations this week as to what is the human rights situation in the Philippines. Ermita is in New York as the head spin doctor in a so-called Philippine Human Rights delegation to answer the UNHRC's queries after a disturbing report published on the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the Philippines by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston last February.

The Philippines is a country that is fundamentally hot-wired for human rights violations across all sectors of society because it has a government that is desperately trying to suppress all forms of dissent that is growing larger everyday due to failed domestic policies, deepening poverty, and growing militarism.

It taking lesson and re-applying the tactics of the darkest days of suppression in the Philippine history, namely with the resurrection of Martial Law under the Human Security Act of 2007.

From the nearly 900 killings of students, church workers, trade unionists and journalists that caught the world's eye, to the high-profile abductions of Jonas Burgos, Sherlyn Cadapan, and Karen Empeno, instances of extrajudicial killings and abductions prove to be targetted towards only those who have joined or lead the ranks of the broad opposition in and out of parliament. As long as the Arroyo-led military decides to handle dissent by curtailing democratic rights and killing off opponents, then the human rights crisis will continue to intensify.

The Arroyo government is in a position where it must defend itself from intense scrutiny worldwide, not just for human rights violations, but now for bribery, failed economic trade agreements, and others. As unrest grows throughout the country, the Arroyo government staged a means to distract and divert media attention to itself with the Glorietta bombing in Makati one week ago, blaming so-called communist insurgents for the social unrest instead, mirroring Marcos's diversion tactic with the Plaza Miranda bombing in 1971.

Unless Ermita speaks of the Arroyo government's inefficiency to handle the country by employing truly democratic policies and respecting national sovereignty, it cannot speak about finding a real solution to the human rights crisis.

We call upon the United Nations and the general public to dismiss Ermita's claims and seek the real data care of the results of countless fact-finding missions launched by peoples organizations since 2001 and the findings of the Permanent People's Tribunal back in March 2007.